Japan's Yakult agrees to extend share talks with Danone

TOKYO Fri Nov 9, 2012 1:17am EST

TOKYO Nov 9 (Reuters) - Japanese drink maker Yakult Honsha Co Ltd said on Friday that it and Danone SA have agreed to continue talks on the French food company possibly taking a bigger stake in Yakult.

The talks are based on a premise that Yakult will retain its independence, a Yakult executive told reporters.

Danone first took a stake in Yakult in 2000 and the two firms entered into a strategic agreement in 2004. Under the terms of that deal, Danone could not lift its stake to more than 20 percent for five years.

The agreement was revised in 2007 and the provision was extended for an additional three years, until it expired earlier this year. (Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu; Writing by James Topham)

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